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With the zen-funk quintet RONIN founded in 2001, Nik Baertsch, a composer and pianist from Zurich,- together with Kaspar Rast (drums), Björn Meyer (bass), Andi Pupato (percussion) and lately Sha (bass/contrabass clarinet), proceeds with his work on RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC. Their music consistently follows the same aesthetic vision under various instrumental guises: creating the maximum effect by minimal means.
Despite the multiplicity of the band’s influences, Ronin’s music always possesses a strong individuality. They incorporate elements of disparate musical worlds, be they funk, new classical music or sounds from Japanese ritual music.
However, these forms are never merely juxtaposed in a post-modernist fashion but instead amalgamated into a coherent new style. Ultimately, these sounds and rhythms are highly idiosyncratic. The music consists of very few phrases and motives, continually combined and layered in new ways. Ronin thus creates a consistent aesthetic across all levels of musical expression. Composition, phrasing, sound structure, performance, and musical form all combine to form a system of interrelated elements. (Michel Mettler)